Paul Vo, the inventor of the Moog guitar, is challenging what is possible with an acoustic guitar with his new Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer. There have been many attempts to create a guitar synthesizer but the Vo 96 is certainly challenging the idea of the sound that can be produced with the humble acoustic guitar.
Paul Vo is known best for developing the Infinite Sustain technology that sits inside the Moog guitar. The Infinite Sustain technology does just what its name suggests. With the Moog guitar strum the string and they will continue to vibrate for as long as you care to leave them.
The new Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer builds on the ideas developed with the Infinite Sustain technology. The highly sophisticated unit can be simply bolted onto an acoustic guitar and will transform the sound creating an entirely new tonal output. Depending on what setting you use the Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer can transform your acoustic into a violin, harp or myriad other instruments.
The Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer can be viewed as a new way of processing the sound created by a guitar. With an electric guitar you can create a wide range of sounds by processing the signal digitally after it has been produced by the guitar. That is how most guitar effect pedals work. The innovative thing about the Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer is that it alters the sound in real time. That is it alters the waveform when it is produced rather than after it is produced. The device has what Vo calls a “two-way conversation” with the guitar strings. It listens to the strings and then applies a precisely calculated magnetic field back to the strings to change how they sound.
The interface portion of the Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer contains 12 transducers, two for each string. The transducers take samples of the energy from the vibrating string, converts the samples into an electrical signal and then sends it down to the battery-powered controller box inside the guitar. The box computes precisely how much energy needs to be applied to each string, and sends that information back up to the transducers, which in turn do the work. That operation happens at a much faster rate than the string is vibrating, which means that from a practical point-of-view, the transducers are simultaneously listening and talking.
Depending on which harmonics you alter and how you alter them, you get an entirely different-sounding instrument.
You can check out how the Vo 96 Acoustic Synthesizer sounds in the video below.
To find out more about the Vo 96 acoustic synthesizer visit the website of Vo Inventions.